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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Jonsson, Carr & Martin

By James Rodgers
Published June 6, 2008

Nordic Tradition

It’s difficult not to smirk at the Nordic Tradition label’s tagline of “New Swedish Folk”—after all, it isn’t often that “folk” and “new” are even mentioned in the same breath. And while the debut of instrumental trio Jonsson, Carr & Martin does not completely deliver on its promise of something wholly fresh, the group’s traditional songs and self-penned tunes are energetic enough to make the label and the band worthy of serious attention. In fact, all three members have played with other artists (Väsen, Swåp, Kate Rusby, and Svart Kaffe among them), so the expertly intertwined rhythms and styles belie their new group status—these are seasoned performers who love Nordic music. Maria Jonsson’s viola d’amore and Mikael Marin’s viola and violino grande give the wings to each song, with Ian Carr’s guitar providing the propulsive heart. It took the trio 10 years to get together, but let’s hope it takes them far less time to create more “New Swedish Folk.”